Distinguished human rights lawyer and supporter of Humanism
Born in 1933 into a family descended from Jewish immigrants, Geoffrey Lionel Bindman went to the RoyalGrammar School, Newcastle, then read law at Oriel College, and qualified as a solicitor in 1959.
In 1974 he founded Bindmans as law firm” dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms of ordinary people” and, though the firm has evolved to include a broad range of services to NGOs, companies, and other organisations, that founding commitment – to fairness and to ensuring access to justice – remains the firm’s ethos. In his long and distinguished legal career, he has specialised in civil liberty and human rights issues.
From 1966 to 1976 he was legal adviser to the Race Relations Board and then until 1983 to the Commission for Racial Equality. He has also served as a legal advisor to Amnesty International and represented Private Eye. In the late 1980s, he visited South Africa as part of an International Commission of Jurists delegation sent to investigate apartheid and subsequently edited a book on the topic, South Africa and the Rule of Law.
He has lectured at law schools in Britain, America and other countries, and is a regular writer and broadcaster on human rights, media law, anti-discrimination law and the legal profession. He has won awards for a lifetime’s achievement in human rights from Liberty (in December 1999) and the Law Society’s Gazette (in October 2003). In April 2000, he was presented with the International Client Counselling Competition award in recognition of his lifetime contribution to client interviewing and counselling throughout the world. He was knighted in January 2007 for services to human rights, and in March 2011 was appointed honorary Queen’s Counsel.